Samsung Level Over Headphones
Samsung is showing off their audio chops with three new premium headphones and a Bluetooth speaker. The Level series by Samsung includes the Level Box (Bluetooth speaker), the Level In (in-ear headphones), the Level On (on-ear wired headphones), and the Level Over (over-ear wired/wireless headphones). The $350 Level Over packs in a lot of headphone tech, including Bluetooth audio with Apt-X support, NFC, and active noise cancellation. I’ve been testing the Level Over for several weeks and have enjoyed its wireless convenience and sound quality.
- Good sound quality
- Effective noise cancellation
- Wired and wireless operation
- Responsive touch controls
- Very comfortable
- Solid build quality
- Attractive appearance
- Includes a hard case
- Doesn’t fold at all
DESIGN & FEATURES
The Level Over comes in white with tan accents or all black. The sides are glossy plastic and at least on the white sample I tested with, it resists fingerprints. The rest of the white plastic on the Over has a matte finish. The headband is cushioned well and was comfortable even on my bald head. The earpads are nice and soft as well. Most over-the-ear headphones aren’t comfortable for more than a couple of hours at a time, but I had no comfort issues wearing the Overs for longer. They’re one of the more comfortable headphones I’ve tested.
The Overs have a lot of tech built in, including NFC and Bluetooth. If you have an Android phone with NFC, you can tap the side of the Overs to pair them easily. The Bluetooth audio on the Overs support Apt-X, which improves the sound when streaming over Bluetooth. Another feature on the Overs is touch control. On the right speaker, you can use gestures with your finger to control volume, skip tracks, and answer calls. It works well, but it’s not hard to accidentally tap it when you don’t mean to as you’re putting it on or taking it off.
I thought the noise cancellation worked well on the Samsung Over. My desktop PC has a bit of a hum to it that the Overs did a good job of filtering out when I enabled noise cancellation. It’d probably work pretty well on a plane too. Unfortunately, the Overs don’t fold up at all, so traveling with them isn’t very convenient. The case that’s included is a nice hardshell case, but it’s very big and would take up a sizable amount of space in your carry-on luggage.
The first time I listened to the Overs, I had it paired to a Galaxy S5 over Bluetooth and wasn’t immediately blown away. I took them off, attached the wired cable and plugged it back in. Better. Much better. For the next couple of weeks, I tested the Overs exclusively over the wired connection, watching movies and listening to music. I’d almost forgotten that the Overs were wireless and decided to give them another try. I added Bluetooth 4.0 to my PC and off I went. I’m not sure if the hours of listening over the wired cable broke the Overs in or what, but I was much happier with the sound quality over Bluetooth the second time around. It was a lot harder for me to distinguish the difference between the wired and wireless sound.
The sound quality of the Samsung Over is good over Bluetooth and a bit better wired. I thought the overall sound was pretty well balanced, though, not quite as accurate as I’d normally like in a pair of $350 headphones (about $250 online). Granted, other headphones in the same price range, like the Sennheiser Momentum, can’t be used wirelessly or have ANC and gesture controls. Bass-heads probably won’t be pleased with the level of thump in the Overs, but I found it satisfying. When I have time to lounge and listen to my cherished music collection, which is almost never, I choose the Shure SRH1840s. When I work out, I like the Bose SoundSport in-ear headphones. For everything else (at home), I can see myself with the Level Overs.
The Samsung Level Over headphones is a nice, do-it-all headphone for gadget lovers who also love good sound. Most people I know who consider themselves to be audiophiles hate Bluetooth audio, so if you’re one of them, the Overs probably aren’t for you. But, if you think you’d enjoy the convenience of a wireless headphone with good sound quality and some cool, geeky tech built in, give the Level Overs a try.
Available from Amazon.com for about $250.
* Review sample provided by Samsung